Round 2, Vote 2 (HFNYR Top NYR Defensemen)
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06-27-2013, 05:39 PM
Join Date: Jun 2010
Originally Posted by
I'm going to go ahead and throw something out there that I anticipate will be an unpopular opinion, but here it goes...
Rod Seiling is, for the most part, not getting enough credit. On my list he is pretty solidly ahead of Barry Beck, James Patrick, and Dave Maloney. And I don't really see any good reason or argument why that shouldn't be the case -- unless you far and away value a defenseman's offense more than their defense (which would possibly put Patrick above Seiling).
He has the longevity. He played with the Rangers for 10 full seasons and 644 games.
He has a SC finals appearance (1972). And two other deep playoff runs which both ended in very close series that went 7 games (1971 and 1974).
Among the players we are currently debating, he was quite possibly the most defensively sound of the group.
Plus-minus wasn't tracked for his entire tenure with the Rangers, but for the seven seasons it was, he was a cumulative +208 (in 510 games). That equates to a +0.41 per game. Imagine what his total would be with 3 more seasons, even if at a slightly lower pace.
In the 10 full seasons he played with NYR, the team was consistently in the top of the league for least goals against for most of them (7 of 10). In the 10 seasons that surrounded his time with NYR (the 5 before and the 5 after), the team was in the bottom of the league for goals against for every single one of them. NYR's GAA with Seiling on the team was 2.80 during his career. In the 5 seasons before he was on the team and the 5 seasons after, NYR's GAA was 3.56. Now, obviously there are other factors contributing to these things; Giacomin's time overlapped with Seiling's and the team had an overall better roster. But while Giacomin's time with NYR overlapped with Seiling's -- it isn't exactly like the goalies the team had before and after his time were chumps (Jacques Plante, a prime Gump Worsley who went on to win a few cups after leaving the Rangers, and later, an emerging John Davidson). So I don't think it is a stretch to say Seiling played a pretty significant role in contributing to those defensive numbers.
He was far from an offensive defenseman, but even so his offensive #s aren't bad. 644 games played, 50 goals, 198 assists, for 248 points. That is an average of 0.39 points per game. Not bad for a defenseman.
I'll even throw down the hammer and ruffle a few feathers: I think a good argument could be made for Rod Seiling over Jim Neilson (and I loved Neilson). Sorry Chief (the player, and the poster, assuming you chose the name for him).
They played in the same time period on the same team and were on the same pairing for a big chunk of their time in NYR. Neilson, despite potentially having more fluid offensive skills, didn't put up more points on average than Seiling did. Seiling's points per game pace was 0.39. Neilson's was 0.36. And Neilson did that while padding those #s with a good amount more PP time than Seiling. Just 15 percent of Seiling's points (during the time this was tracked) were off the power play. Whereas 27 percent of Neilson's were.
Neilson absolutely played a more physical game than Seiling did. But defensively, Seiling was at least a bit ahead of him in my mind. Seiling was a true stay at home, finesse defender. In the time that it was tracked, Seiling was a +208 in 510 games. Neilson was a +146 in 484 games. Seiling was a +0.41 per game. Neilson was a +0.3 per game.
One of the only other things Neilson has that Seiling doesn't is the 2nd AST. And I'm not sure that's enough to sway me to his side.
Thoughts? If someone wants to go back and debate whether Seiling should even be ahead of Patrick/Beck/Maloney, I'd be happy to; but I figured I'd go straight ahead to the likely controversial opinion first.
Right now I have Greschner, Neilson, Seibert, and Seiling vying for my 9 and 10 spots. I originally was pretty high on Seibert at the beginning of this project - primarily because of the SC. But he has been falling recently. Not sure how I feel about him being so high on my list because of his short tenure with NYR - despite the SC he helped bring here.
Also wavering a bit on Heller and Pratt who I assumed would be locks for somewhere between 4 and 8 spots.
I'll give him a fresh look, but Seiling was IMO not an elite across the board defensive D.
He was, like Girardi, the league's best at stopping pucks.
We was superior at stick checking and finesse body checking.
He was not otherwise particularly strong.
He was not certain, let alone dominant, let alone exceptional as to taking the body. He could neutralize a HOF like Beliveau but get run over by a less talented freight train on a bad day.
However, in fairness, he was not called upon to do other things that guys like Park did exceptionally well. He was presumably asked to be complementary, and he was.
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